Published On: Tue, Aug 21st, 2012

Rodriguez in Amstel Curaçao Race

WILLEMSTAD Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez will be one of the crowd pullers in the next Amstel Curaçao Race. The short man from the Russian formation Katusha already won the World Tour-ranking two years ago and is invariably one of the most regular runners in the platoon the past years. He is now second in the World Tour-ranking after Bradley Wiggins.

Rodriguez triumphed in the Waalse Pijl this year and became second in the Giro d’Italia. It was only on the last day that he had to give up his pink leader’s shirt in the time trial in Milan.

Together with Alberto Contador and Christopher Froome, he is one of the top favorites for the final victory in the Tour of Spain.

Besides Rodriquez, route-director Leo van Vliet also contracted the number three of the Giro d’Italia, the Belgian Thomas de Gendt, for the Amstel Curaçao Race on Saturday, November 3rd. De Gendt from the Dutch Vacansoleil-DEM formation triumphed in the heroic race on top of the Stelvio. De Gendt is now also considered one of the likely winners in the Vuelta.

“Every year we try to attract new runners to Curaçao”, said Van Vliet. “I still notice there’s a large interest from many toppers. This year we see quite a few talents break through, namely youngsters for the future, whom we will now focus on as well. It looks like we’ll have a beautiful participant’s field on the island in November”, said Van Vliet, who succeeded in contracting Niki Terpstra, Robert, Gesink, Lieuwe Westra and Olympic champion Marianne Vos earlier on.

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